Sony will have a new console, dubbed Orbis, on shelves before the end of next year, according to reports.
The claim comes from Kotaku, who has been told by what it describes as "a reliable source who has shared correct information with us before" that the console will be released in time for the 2013 holiday season.
The console will not be backwards compatible with PS3 titles, and will block used games – a feature Microsoft is also reportedly considering for its Xbox 360 successor.
The system boasts an AMD x64 CPU and a Southern Islands GPU – which will be capable of displaying Orbis games at 4096×2160 resolution, and displaying games with stereoscopic 3D support in full 1080p.
Kotaku's source claims that games will be available either on Blu-Ray discs or as downloads from PlayStation Store. Games on discs will be locked to a single PSN account – allowing users to install the entire game to the console's HDD, or flag it as downloaded in their account history.
If disc-based games are traded in, those buying second-hand games will find they have, in fact, only bought a trial, and will be required to pay a further fee to unlock the whole game. Some form of DRM – Kotaku's report suggests a single online check on boot, rather than the dreaded persistent internet connection – will be put in place to prevent users bypassing the single-account restriction by playing offline.
"Select developers" have had devkits since the beginning of this year, the source claimed. Improved kits were sent out earlier this month, and beta units are expected towards the end of the year.
As for the name: "Orbis" may not mean much on its own, but when paired with a slight tweak to the name of Sony's new handheld you get "Orbis Vitae" – Latin for "the circle of life." All very speculative, of course, and so it shall stay: Sony declined to comment.